The adoption of bitcoin (BTC) as a form of payment in commercial establishments in Venezuela could enter an upward spiral of growth in the coming months. Large supermarket chains, pharmacies and even hotels already accept cryptocurrencies for their products and services, a clear indicator of the boom that is about to occur.
One of the companies in charge of updating the payment processors, so that businesses begin to accept BTC in the country, is Mega Soft. The company manages about 35 thousand computers between cash registers and Android points of sale. Of that total, 40% have already been updated with software to accept cryptocurrencies, if the commercial establishment so decides.
In Venezuela there are currently about 500,000 points of sale, this includes: traditional devices that receive debit and credit cards, Android devices and cash registers. It is in these last two branches in which Mega Soft acts to promote payment with bitcoin.
To learn more about the update process, CriptoNoticias spoke with Antonio Castro, director and partner of the Venezuelan company, who highlighted that they currently record payments with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in some 500 cash registers, at the rate of two daily transactions, on average. .
«The potential is enormous, an explosive growth of this topic is visualized in the next months. The adoption process has had an interesting demand while the chains accommodate their internal reception and conciliation processes, ”Castro said during the interview.
Mega Soft’s entry into the bitcoin ecosystem came after establishing an alliance with CryptoBuyer, an exchange and payment gateway provider with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, based in Panama in May. Merchants that have begun to accept cryptocurrencies do so, among others, with bitcoin, Dash, BUSD, XPT (CryptoBuyer token) and Litecoin.
About the purchase process with BTC, the executive commented that it runs in about 45 seconds, does not require the user to wait for confirmations from the blockchain and that the commission charged by CryptoBuyer would be around 2% per operation.
“You do not have to wait for the blockchain to update and there is the consensus of all the nodes for CryptoBuyer to consider the transaction valid. The response times are as good as if it were a credit or debit card, this is essential for the adoption of payments in the store, “added the executive.
It should be clarified that in this case CryptoBuyer is the one who assumes the risk of the operation. That is, the payment gateway is responsible for processing the funds in cryptocurrencies and crediting them in the accounts that each establishment must subscribe with them in their exchange.
Bitcoin expansion in Venezuelan chains
Some chains that have begun to receive payments with bitcoin in Venezuela are: Excelsior Gama supermarkets, some SAAS pharmacies, Bio Mercados in Carabobo state, Hotel Tamanaco, Traki stores and Hotel Eurobuiling in Caracas.
The Excelsior Gama supermarket chain receives payments in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in its physical stores and through its website. Source: Excelsior Gama / excelsiorgama.com
Without identifying the establishment, Castro stressed that one of the chains that activated the service recorded more than 600 transactions with cryptocurrencies in a week. This impulse was led by people who approached the business to experience the purchase and use their wallets, our interviewee commented.
In relation to the incorporation of new chains interested in accepting bitcoin as a form of payment, Castro announced that Mega Soft is in talks with seven companies that have shown interest in receiving cryptocurrencies “as soon as possible.”
The potential acceptance of bitcoin in stores is not limited to physical stores. The director of Mega Soft said that the service is also provided to those companies whose business model is electronic commerce.
Another aspect that Castro stressed is that the traditional points of sale in which debit or credit cards are used, whether wireless or wired, have limitations to accept this type of operations. The reason is that most are unable to generate a QR code on the screen or print it.
Therefore, the software updates are aimed at cash registers that have a screen and can generate QR codes. The user only has to scan it with their wallet using a smartphone.
«The topic of cryptocurrencies is surrounded by a series of conjectures. It is very important to give a good induction to the operator of the payment point regarding its use case and against possible failures or denied responses of a transaction. We have had some difficulties with ATMs that are receiving payments with cryptocurrencies for the first time, ”the director emphasized.
Regarding the invoice that the cash register prints, Castro explained that it is issued in bolivars, however, it also reflects the amount of the operation in the cryptocurrency chosen by the user. Being an invoice like any other, this implies that store inventories are updated and all administrative processes are adjusted.
The executive also revealed that there are large chains and small businesses asking about the issue. “We have received new businesses that want to know our platform specifically because they have heard that they can receive cryptocurrencies. In other words, we complement each other in both ways since traditional means of payment drive cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrencies drive traditional means of payment.
The fact that Venezuela registers a greater boost in the use of bitcoin as a form of payment was also analyzed by the executive. Castro cited that there are several elements that have benefited the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. Among those he mentioned the currency reconversions, the restrictions with the bolivar in cash and the desire of the Venezuelan to conserve the value of his funds.